Friday, January 02, 2015

Snow in Southern California

December 31, 2014
By Sean Breslin
It might "never rain in Southern California," (click here) as the old Albert Hammond song goes, but it sure can snow.
The snowfall even came down in areas that don't usually see wintry weather at the lower elevations. At 1,400 feet, Lake Elsinore reported six inches of snow to the National Weather Service, and residents were quite surprised to wake up Wednesday to see front yards and palm trees covered in snow....

There is nothing normal about this temperature map. And the water vapor satellite reflects the same oddity.

January 2, 2014
0445 GMT
The Weather Channel Current Temperature Map

Average Temperatures for Texas in December (click here)

NOAA Water Temperatures of the Southern Atlantic Coast (click here)

The South Pacific Coast has an average temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

So while there is snow in southern California, the polar air isn't effecting the coastal ocean temperatures.

I saw this temperature change last year along the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City, Michigan. 

The warm very moist air initially caused rain for about 30 minutes or so and then it turned to snow and plenty of it. Out on the bay though, there was a very strange phenomena occurring. The ice had become very thick during the frigid arctic winter, but, with the warm air blowing across the bay the surface ice was melting. It wasn't melting because the water was becoming warm, but, because the air was warm. At the southern tip of the bay the wind was so very cold after crossing the frozen bay a person couldn't turn their face into the wind for concern of frost bite almost immediately. The surface ice was turning to water, but, there were still ice structures poking up through the water. The ice under the water hadn't melted.

Looking at the two USA coastal waters being warm in the Pacific and falling in the Atlantic, it makes sense. The air is cold, but, doesn't effect the Pacific coast waters because it wasn't exposed to it long enough. The Atlantic on the other hand is exposed to the frigid arctic air far longer, hence, changing it temperature on the surface. 

Below is the UNISYS Water Vapor Satellite of North and West Hemisphere (click here for 12 hour loop)